I did not know that it was possible to miss someone this much.
I mean - I actually, really, honestly, did not know.
I had no idea that I would go see a production of the hilarious play Noises Off tonight, put on by the Theatre Department at the University I teach at; and laugh so hard that my ribs hurt, and then get in my car just a few minutes later, and suddenly be sobbing.
Sobbing because I used to take that ride back home with my husband, and he would be the one driving, and he would pull up the car to the performing arts building for me so I wouldn't have to walk in the rain to the far away parking lot, and then we would talk excitedly all the way home about how much we loved that play.
I did not know that the silence inside that car, and the absence of those conversations and those late-night theater reviews, would be so haunting and so painful and so unbelievably present. That the rain and the drive home alone would depress me so much, or that hearing one of my colleagues say: "That was great. I'm coming back again tomorrow with my wife" would feel like a knife twisting inside of my soul.
Innocent moments. Tiny things. Ginormous things. Small fragments. Friends. Phrases. Movies. Sporting Events. Food. A scent or a look or a weather pattern - I did not know that any or all of these things plus many many more, endless things - would have such a deep and profound effect on me, all the time, everyday that I live. I didn't know.
Why didn't anyone tell me? Shouldn't that be included in the "So You're A Widow" pamphlet? Might I have received some sort of directions or input on what to expect of some of the things that would be unexpected? No. Nobody thought of that. Nobody knew.
If I only knew, before I knew, sooner than I knew, what I now know today - I know this would be a lot easier to crawl through. Wouldn't it?
Maybe not. Probably not. Who the hell knows? Do you know? I don't know. And if I did know, I might not even tell you, because you wouldn't get it. Until, of course, you did get it. And then we would both know, more than we knew, back when we didn't know.
I miss the days of not knowing, all the many things, I did not know.